Hope and change
It’s that time – the beginning of a new year – when the sentiments for change, renewal and the realisation of new dreams are on everyone’s lips. These are embodied in the wishes we hold for ourselves and those we extend to others.
As we do so, we are also apt to reflect on the year past, to dwell on the things that did not work out well, or else to dismiss them and move on.
We all continue to embrace the hope that a new year brings and we expect that our circumstances will change for the better, if we put our best efforts into making that happen.
Coming off an economically challenging year and a politically dramatic one in the Cayman Islands, it may be understandable that hope and change should be even more overriding themes in our discourse at this time.
No doubt most of us are hoping for a change in our financial fortunes this year and in the years ahead, as we continue to experience the belt-tightening that has been a fact of life over several years now. As we watch our giant neighbour to the north with its fiscal cliff negotiations, it has been sometimes quite difficult to hold out hope, given the wrenching effects of politics on the very economic issues that affect people’s daily lives.
Here at home, we find ourselves in the unprecedented position of having an interim government, at least for the next three months until the Legislative Assembly is dissolved in preparation for general elections in May. We do not know how much the five former UDP members who now make up the elected Cabinet will be able to achieve in a few short months. We can only hope that they will at least be able to hold the reins of government in a steady manner, one that does nothing to further erode the country’s position either politically or economically.
This is an election year in Cayman, and already we have been introduced to many political hopefuls who are putting themselves forward, with the aim of changing the political course of the country. In the current climate, where political trust has been broken, where people have become even more critical of the style of governance they have seen from some of their representatives, we venture to suggest that these political will be under even greater scrutiny for the promises they are wont to make.
There is a sense in which people seem far more restless, hyper critical and less accommodating of the rhetoric that often accompanies political campaigns. People want to know how their lives are going to be impacted by the actions of their representatives and they certainly want to be able to support and believe in the decisions that are taken on their behalf. Those who are seeking to represent would do well to understand that this is part of what the electorate is hoping for.
Political changes are afoot, no doubt, if one tries to read the tea leaves from the current state of affairs in the country. Already we have the break up of one political party and who knows what hybrids will emanate from what remains of the UDP and what will emerge to accommodate the five erstwhile members.
We have a political advocacy group that is seeking to promote independent candidates and it remains to be seen what effect they will have on the race.
While we can hope that the inevitable changes that come our way will be for the better, we can also arouse ourselves to play a part in bringing about positive developments, both on an individual and national basis.
There is little use in hoping, if we are not willing to work for change.